News Analysis |
On Saturday, the Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that the Supreme Court is entirely Pakistan’s court and its decision on Kala Bagh Dam will not affect any stakeholder. The top court chief further added, “We are here to build a consensus on the issue, not to create troubles for stakeholders.”
These claims were made during the hearing of a case filed by Barrister Zafarullah, pertaining to the construction of Kala Bagh Dam at the Karachi Registry, on Saturday. The petitioner wrote that along with addressing the water issue in Pakistan, the construction of the dam will also end electricity crisis in the country and help produce cheap electricity for consumers. It is pertinent to mention here that a larger bench, headed by the chief justice, heard the case.
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar commented that on allowance of the public, the Supreme Court is ready to take action and play its role in resolving the country’s water problem. He also announced that the Supreme Court will conduct seminars on the said matter, after Eidul Fitr, and the initiative will probably start in Karachi.
Zafar Mahmood, while holding the previous government responsible for the national issue, revealed that he had retired from the chairmanship of WAPDA because of this issue.
Regarding the Kala Bagh Dam, the chief justice believes that the only way forward is to seek for an alternative solution, given how four major provinces are openly against the construction of the dam. Barrister Zafarullah, during the case hearing, requested the court to arrange a referendum on the Kala Bagh Dam issue, to which the chief justice replied by reminding everyone to pay respect to the constitution. He further clarified, “our responsibility is to look into legal matters whereas holding a referendum is the government’s responsibility.”
The former Chairman WAPDA Zafar Mahmood briefed the court, through a projector, on the Kala Bagh Dam and highlighted how the issue of Kala Bagh Dam has been ignored when the public should have been educated about it especially concerning the water scarcity issue prevalent in the country. “There is a need to create awareness on the issue of water scarcity,” Mahmood responded.
Mahmood added that glaciers are melting speedily and that floods and natural disasters are shadowing Pakistan, owing to the ongoing climate change. The former Chairman WAPDA also informed the court, during the hearing, that India has already occupied the water of three rivers and has long term planning to tease Pakistan over the water issue, with plans to construct more dams on these rivers.
He warned us that India can openly damage areas of Pakistan by relieving water from its dams during the forthcoming monsoon season, leading to possible floods. Zafar Mahmood, while holding the previous government responsible for the national issue, revealed that he had retired from the chairmanship of WAPDA because of this issue.